What does success in gender equality look like:
Stephanie Zvan: It means more than just numbers. We will be able to have a conference about our issues without someone telling us not to take it too far. We will have equality when we are allowed to be as cranky as the men. When we don't have to work to be so much more exceptional and are more inclusive about who we consider leaders.
Ophelia Benson: To be able to have a conference like this and have an official hashtag without having it filled up with garbage by people who hate the con and everything it stands for. Not having to still be arguing about it and being able to take it for granted. To expects conferences to look like this one. Covering the same subjects without having it be called Women in something because it belonged there. Having gender issues be central to the movement, or having it disappear as a subject because it is actually no longer needed.
Elisabeth Cornwell: Standing up when we need to stand up, and listening when we need to listen. [I am a little concerned when you need to start off your talk by telling people that your area of study is not a pseudo-science. Don't tell me, show me. Psychology is a science, but evolutionary psychology seems to struggle with burden of proof and understanding of evolution]
Debbie Goddard: It is hard to know what gender and racial equality look like when it doesn't exist anywhere. We have no example. We should address the challenges that are faced by different demographics.
If anyone in the movement didn't support Gay marriage, we would shun them.
It's not necessarily by numbers but about attitude. Let's not have conferences where there are no women speakers, lets have women's opinions taken seriously.
Benson thinks numbers are a sign. There are all sorts of little signs that there are problems that are often not seen and so the numbers can be indicators that something is off. If there is a marked difference in representation, we need to ask why.
11:26 am - If you think that having women speakers means not having the best speakers, means you should re-evaluate your criteria. We join groups because we feel welcome and some connection with the people. This is why race, gender, and other minority representation matters because it provides that connection to people to join the movement.
I have to admit being really excited about the fact that a discussion of gender equality included the introduction to race equality, trans equality, gay equality, etc. etc. There is also a question about whether we are too US centric.
Benson: Bring the attention of privileged attention of Americans to international issues like the struggle in Syria.
Zvan: We can't wrap our heads around the idea that we might have choice in our clothing, but there are places in the world where choice in clothes could be wear this or die, which is not a choice. If we want to talk about choice we need to do so by demanding choice in those places.
What have we already accomplished? Have we gotten better? What have we been doing right?
Cornwell: It is more ok for men to be atheists. It is rare to meet atheist women who aren't married to religious men. Rationality is considered a male trait and rational women are criticized for being rational and direct. Was discouraged from science.
Benson: Trying not to call it a "Guy thing". Atheism is considered a man thing because it is a fight with god and you don't want to send a woman to fight with the ultimate man.
Svan: When you point out that there are situations where women are not treated the same as men and people deny it, but things get better anyway because you pointed it out. The hate is not the result of complaining, it is just the reaction. We are making a difference and are slowly chipping away at the inequality.
Cornwell: Having had Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the four horsemen DVD would have helped.
Goddard: We used to draw mostly from bestselling authors, scientists, philosophers, etc. Neil deGrasse Tyson was the seventh person of color to get a Ph.D. in astrophysics, so an astrophysics conference would of necessity be unbalanced. So, lots of smaller successful conferences get more educators, organizers, activists, bloggers, despite the derision that bloggers get, the movement shifts and becomes more balanced. These latter fields have a better balance already. We can fix this mess by recognizing the ways that people from less unbalanced areas of expertise can contribute things of value. Perhaps eventually these other fields will catch up?
Going out of our way to be more inclusive--affirmative action? Does that work? Is it a "quota" that "lowers our standards"?
Zvan: Plug for a convention in Minneapolis that was, by accident, almost all women speakers. Many women speakers are relatively new, or hadn't been heard of by important organizing types.
Benson: Fame is a self-fulfilling system so we have to look to feature new people. Inviting people who don't fit into the white, middle class, male slot works because it puts their name out there for consideration with future conferences.
Cornwell: male speakers are considered crowd drawers in a way women aren't. Says data shows that women are less willing to ask the questions and are less willing to give talks.
Goddard: Yes it works! We are a movement. We need to grow, and to do that we should think about groups and who to reach out to. "@Lurien "It doesn't affect me, ergo mission drift." Paraphrasing
"What are the consequences of not having inclusiveness"
Zvan: Some of us are living those consequences now. People who say "Women can't think" "Person x just agreed with you because you are sleeping with them" "Did you come here with your boyfriend" Guys don't always see these things even when they are right in front of them. It can feel lonely in secular conventions for a woman. A place like this [#wiscfi] lets us take more risks because we know it is safe to do so here.
Benson: When there are more of us, we piss more people off. The visibility also creates more reaction. Success means having to navigate more shit.
Cornwell: If we don't have equality we lose.
Goddard: A defence of the idea of Shut up and Listen [so much win in everything she is saying. Like Holy Crap!]